Attorney P. Raymond Bartholomew exchanged time for eternity on Friday after six months of illness. He was 75.
He was born to Francis and Rena Bartholomew on Oct. 12, 1942, in Lackawannock Township (Mercer County). He attended the Greenfield school for elementary grades, then West Middlesex-area schools, graduating in 1960. At graduation, he was honored to be the valedictorian. Ray then attended Westminster College in New Wilmington where he majored in political science. He played trombone in the West Middlesex and Westminster school bands. At Westminster, he was chairman of the mock convention, which is always held by the school before a presidential election.
After graduating from Westminster in 1964, he was awarded a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville, Tenn. An outstanding student, he served on the Vanderbilt Law Review and was a member of The Order of the Coif, and honorary legal society.
In 1967, he was awarded a juris doctor degree from Vanderbilt School of Law.
Upon graduation, he returned to the area and served as a law clerk for Judge Leo McKay. On Jan. 2, 1968, he joined the Sharon law firm of Cusick, Madden, Joyce and McKay. In January 1996, he moved his law practice to Hermitage where he continued his practice, and on Jan. 2, 2018, he celebrated 50 years in the practice of law. In 1995, Bartholomew served as president of the Mercer County Bar Association.
Personally, in June 1969, he married Jane Bartholomew (nee Barkley) of Philadelphia. They have resided in Hermitage with their two tuxedo cats, Henry and Thatcher.
Ray was very active in the youth ministry of Christian Endeavor. As a teenager, he served as a teen leader in the Unity Presbyterian Church at Greenfield Christian Endeavor Group. In the 1970s, '80s and '90s, he served in many positions in the Mercer County Christian Endeavor, two terms as president of the Pennsylvania Christian Endeavor and he continued to serve on the Pennsylvania Christian Endeavor Board for many years. He also served as a vice president of Christian Endeavor International. As the youth leaders at Unity Church for many years, the Bartholomews often used vacation time to take teenagers to conferences and conventions.
Currently Ray Bartholomew was serving as an elder and clerk of session at Unity, where he had also been a Sunday school teacher and a faithful choir member for many years.
As Attorney Bartholomew, he spent 22 years serving on the board of what was then the Shenango Valley Osteopathic Hospital, and for a time, served as the attorney representing the hospital.
Attorney Bartholomew was a long time member of the Christian Legal Society. He served on various committees
as a Westminster alumnus. He also served the Presbytery of Shenango helping with legal work.
In 1981, Ray became a charter member of the Penn Ohio Singers, Shenango Valley chapter of Barbershop Harmony. This was one of his special interests, especially when the chorus would sing for the summer worship services. He was one of the men chosen to be "Barbershopper of the Year," a special honor as this person is chosen by the membership. Ray also loved leading singing at hymn sings. He also enjoyed playing the piano and organ.
Ray was very interested in family history, having traced Bartholomew ancestors back to the Revolutionary War and further back to Germany. He also wrote the latest history of the Unity Presbyterian Church.
Ray Bartholomew is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jane, his sister Sandra Houk, her husband Conrad and nephews Brian (Kim) and Joseph Houk, and other nieces and nephews scattered around the country. He is also survived by his aunt, Ruth Wheeler, and many cousins.
Memorial contributions can be given to Unity Presbyterian Church.
P. Raymond, 75, of Lackawannock Township.
Calling hours: 4 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday (1-10-18) in SMITH FUNERAL HOME, 3126 Main St., West Middlesex, and for one hour prior to the service Thursday (1-11-18) at Unity Presbyterian Church, 1857 Mercer West Middlesex Road (Route 318), Lackawannock Township at Greenfield.
Service: A service of worship will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the church.
Pastor James Moose will officiate along with other pastors who were close friends of Ray. The Penn Ohio Singers will also be singing as a part of the service.
Published on January 6, 2018